MASSENA, N.Y. – Pro Wayne Vaughan of Chester, Virginia, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the three-day Costa FLW Series on the St. Lawrence River presented by Realtree Fishing.
Vaughan’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 63 pounds, 5 ounces was enough to earn him the victory by a 1-pound, 9-ounce margin over second-place pro Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, and earn him $83,340, including a new Ranger Z518L boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The tournament was the third and final regular-season tournament of the year for anglers competing in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits.
“I caught a few fish this week on a tube, but every fish that I weighed in came drop-shotting a Redbone-colored Z-Man Jerk ShadZ,” said Vaughan, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I fished basically from takeoff all the way down to Clayton, hitting 20 to 25 spots each day."
In addition to the Z-Man Jerk ShadZ, Vaughan also employed a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Jerk Shad on his drop-shot.
“The first day my numbers were not that great – I think I only caught 10 fish,” Vaughan continued. “On the second day I caught around 25, and today I only caught 10. I was fishing around the ends of points – I caught them all in 35- to 55-feet-of-water. Yesterday the current was moving really well, so it had the fish up a little higher – around 35 feet. Today, I couldn’t get them that shallow and had to go real deep. I caught one down 55 feet.”
When asked what he felt was the key to his victory, Vaughan was honest and blunt with his answer – “luck.”
“I had no keys,” Vaughan joked. “I think my key was luck. I had caught a couple of fish in practice, but the last day I caught a 6-pounder way out deep. I told myself, ‘That is definitely where the big ones live, and I’m committing myself to this.’ It was a grind – I was only getting one or two fish on each of those spots.
“It’s been a great year, and to win at the last event of the year is just a great way to end the season,” Vaughan went on to say.
The top 10 pros on the St. Lawrence River finished:
1st: Wayne Vaughan, Chester, Va., 15 bass, 63-5, $83,340
2nd: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., 15 bass, 61-12, $14,199
3rd: A.J. Slegona, Pine Bush, N.Y., 15 bass, 59-7, $11,115
4th: Casey Smith, Macedon, N.Y., 15 bass, 58-12, $9,096
5th: Jason Burger, Bridgeton, N.J., 14 bass, 54-10, $8,186
6th: Neil Deleeuw, Fenwick, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 54-4, $7,277
7th: Ken Golub, Pittsford, N.Y., 14 bass, 54-1, $7,967
8th: Brian Hughes, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 53-8, $5,458
9th: Jonathan Kelley, Old Forge, Penn., 15 bass, 50-4, $5,548
10th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 50-0, $3,638
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Vaughan weighed in a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass Friday – the heaviest of the tournament in the Pro Division – and also earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $256.
Noah Winslow of Naugatuck, Connecticut, won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Winslow took home the top prize package of a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor, worth $27,100.
The top 10 co-anglers on the St. Lawrence River finished:
1st: Noah Winslow, Naugatuck, Conn., 15 bass, 50-11, $27,100
2nd: Dexter Andrews, King George, Va., 15 bass, 50-3, $4,874
3rd: Grant Loney, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, 14 bass, 49-2, $3,723
4th: Jeff Zeisner, Arva, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 49-1, $3,258
5th: Gary Haraguchi, Antioch, Calif., 14 bass, 48-6, $3,042
6th: Michael Sciacca, Augusta, N.J., 14 bass, 43-2, $2,327
7th: Will Litchfield, London, Ontario, Canada, 14 bass, 40-13, $1,862
8th: Joshua Hertzog, Ephrata, Penn., 14 bass, 39-0, $1,729
9th: Jeff Melsop, East Liberty, Ohio, 12 bass, 38-12, $1,396
10th: D. Brett Walker, Kansas City, Mo., 11 bass, 33-1, $1,163
Henry McKee of Haddon Heights, New Jersey, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces. He earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $170.
The Costa FLW Series on the St. Lawrence River presented by Realtree Fishing was hosted by the Town of Massena. It was the third and final tournament in the 2019 regular season for Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits anglers. The next tournament for FLW Series anglers will also be in the Western Division, the Costa FLW Series at the California Delta presented by Power-Pole, held Sept. 26-28 in Bethel Island, California. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
# # #